Course 2019-2020 a.y.


Department of Law

Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 31
CLMG (8 credits - I sem. - OBS  |  IUS/10)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (I sem.)

Class-group lessons delivered  on campus

Suggested background knowledge

It is strongly recommended that students have already taken the Administrative Law exam.

Mission & Content Summary


The course deals with legal and policy frameworks governing environmental problems and relating to the wider sustainability agenda, especially at EU levels. In particular, it examines the principles of European environmental law and techniques for environmental management with specific emphasis on substantive aspects of EU environmental law, including climate change and air quality regulation, EU nature conservation law, environmental impact assessment, industrial emissions controls, waste management and the enforcement of EU environmental law at Member State levels. Students are introduced to the key challenges and opportunities faced by policy makers, governments, citizens and legal actors in tackling environmental problems and the complex issue of sustainable development.


  • The main characteristics of environmental law.
  • The notion of environment.
  • Principles of EU Environmental Law (i.e. sustainable development, the precautionary principle, the prevention principle; the source principle; the polluter pays principle).
  • The environment in the Italian Constitution, in the European law and in the International law framework.
  • Techniques for environmental management: market-based v.command-and-control regulatory strategies: overview.
  • Environmental Impact Assessment and Strategic Environmental Assessment.
  • Regulation of specific sectors (ex. climate change and air pollution, renewable energies, strategic environmental assessment and environmental impact assesment, waste management, water pollution).

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Understand the complex nature of environmental problems and the multiple ways in which law applies to and engages with environmental problems.
  • Gain a deeper legal understanding of EU environmental principles and the concept of sustainable development.
  • Analyze the various regulatory strategies involved in dealing with environmental problems and the role of the key actors involved in implementing such strategies within the EU.
  • Gain a solid understanding of EU legal frameworks that apply to key environmental problems, including climate change, protecting the environmental media (air pollution, waste management), nature protection and the control of industrial emissions.
  • Foster team work, critical and analytical analysis and problem solving (especially through case studies and class projects).


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Locate, read, and analyze EU and domestic environmental law and case law.
  • Recognize situations in which EU environmental law may be useful or essential.
  • Be aware of relevant stakeholders, their preferences, and the path by which they can influence EU environmental law.
  • Understand the particular challenges related to key environmental problems addressed by environmental law.
  • Understand the process by which EU environmental law is negotiated.

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Group assignments


Teaching method is based on active learning and includes lectures and several case studies (as an aid to understanding). Students are expected to ensure regular class attendance (at least 75%) and to actively participate in class discussions and teamwork. Slides and other materials are made available to students beforehand in order to facilitate note taking.

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)


  • Attending students sit a written open book exam consisting of one question (a hypothetical scenario the solution to which requires familiarity with, and mastery of, the course materials) to be answered in 70 minutes. This counts as 85% of the marks. Students may use their books and materials and the internet when answering the question. Answers must be emailed at the end of the hour to the professors of the course. Students can sit the written open book exam only in the first two exam dates.
  • Students must also work in-group (max. 4 students per group) to prepare a response paper on a specific topic directly relevant to environmental law as it applies in the European Union. Each group is asked to select a topic at the beginning of the course.  Some groups present in class during the course. The group assignment evaluation counts 15% of the marks.
  • The final exam aims to assess the solid understanding of the EU legal framework that applies to key environmental problems, including climate change, protection of the environmental media, nature protection and the control of industrial emissions


Final written exam consisting of three open questions to be answered in 70 minutes. This counts as 100% of the mark.
Non attending students who however are able to attend part of the course can decide to sit the written open book exam (only in the first two exam dates). This counts as 100% of the mark.

Teaching materials


  • F. FRACCHIA, Environmental Law. Principles, Definitions and Protection Models, Editoriale Scientifica, Napoli, 2018.
  • Cases, materials and selected readings provided and analised during the course (available on Bboard).


  • F. FRACCHIA, Environmental Law. Principles, Definitions and Protection Models, Editoriale Scientifica, Napoli, 2018.
  • S. KINGSTON, et al, European Environmental Law, Cambridge University Press, 2017 ISBN 978-1-107-640443 (chapters 8-9-11-12-14).
Last change 04/09/2019 16:49